I first heard Ennio’s freewheeling side on the Feed-Back album. And I had a feint recollection of this group before actually listening. Now I listen. It’s a world of wonders and, to my ears, a brilliant example of the art of the improvisers.
Perhaps it was Ennio’s plaything, dashing to the studio between recording his twenty-second soundtrack of the year to allow his imagination to roam free, completely. For all his brilliance as a film composer, we soon recognise familiar structures and sounds in them. But here he is, blowing as if he belonged to the world of total improvisation. Here is the sound of surprise that Jazz is supposed to be, which is not to denigrate the art form in any way.
You cannot guess what is going to happen next, of course - piano keys are hit, and strings plucked? What is that sound? It’s part of the pleasure, not knowing what is being played, or how. Radio voices, a double bass, percussion, something being hit, and the ironically entitled Light Music, which is anything but. It’s music that is multi-dimensional, not only in what’s played, but how - something is rubbed, rustled, tapped, screwed, unscrewed...there are squeaks, drones...silence, almost...and so on. The usual stuff of Improv, you might say. Still, I urge you to give it a chance if you’re at all prejudiced against this kind of thing.
We can hear something of Ennio’s artfulness, in dissonant strings, perhaps, or fleeting moments of what sounds like improvisation, amongst his film work. But this ‘soundtrack’ is most suited to the little movies played out in our heads every night as we sleep.